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Discussion Starter #1
You guys that have newer Dodge 1500's and tow with them atleast once a month or more - are you having any issues with wear & tear?

Are you happy with the stock towing package - stock tranny cooler and other towing package stuff?? Or did you upgrade to make things better??

How's the longevity and reliability of these rigs??

Did you need to put any helper springs and/or air bags to assist the rear suspension?

We currently tow a 1200lb trailer and a 94 YJ with a 4.7L Grand Cherokee. The Grand does fine -but we're at its max towing capacity and we're beginning to see some wear & tear from regular towing atleast 2 times a month.

We're looking to replace my other truck with something that can handle the towing as well as handle it regularly. To get the Grand Cherokee off towing duties.

We're still researching our options - but the 5.7L Hemi Reg Cab is looking like a good option for us in both towing, daily driving, and fit.

Any thoughts, suggestions or whatever you gotta throw at me. Some of the Dodge forums I visit don't have any insight at all. Tried a search....but I don't have time to play the 'get the right keyword game'.

Thanks
Jandy
 

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I'll throw in my spare change

If your going to buy a new truck I'd say go ahead and buy a 2500 truck. You can get the Hemi in the 2500 Dodges but if I was you I'd say buy a 2500 with a Cummins and a 6spd in it. The autos behind the Hemis AND the CTDs aint worth a shit and will tear up in the long run. But if your wanting more cab room and a heavier built gasser truck,I'd say look into a Chevy 2500HD truck,nice trucks with four full doors. I've been around Dodges all my life,always liked them up until now,they ain't got to many good things going for them in the newer trucks other then the Cummins but they still aint got a trans that'll hold up to them :flipoff2: I know the Dodge boys will want to flame but oh well :grinpimp:

Jimbo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Big Mo said:
I'll throw in my spare change

If your going to buy a new truck I'd say go ahead and buy a 2500 truck. You can get the Hemi in the 2500 Dodges but if I was you I'd say buy a 2500 with a Cummins and a 6spd in it. The autos behind the Hemis AND the CTDs aint worth a shit and will tear up in the long run. But if your wanting more cab room and a heavier built gasser truck,I'd say look into a Chevy 2500HD truck,nice trucks with four full doors. I've been around Dodges all my life,always liked them up until now,they ain't got to many good things going for them in the newer trucks other then the Cummins but they still aint got a trans that'll hold up to them :flipoff2: I know the Dodge boys will want to flame but oh well :grinpimp:

Jimbo
Thanks for the spare change.... :grinpimp:
It's just my husband and I - so we don't need the extra cab room. We don't want something overly big either - a Reg cab would be fine for us. Not looking for something all that big but definately with towing 'punch'. Not sure a diesel would injoy daily driving duties.....
 

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Big Mo said:
I'll throw in my spare change

If your going to buy a new truck I'd say go ahead and buy a 2500 truck. You can get the Hemi in the 2500 Dodges but if I was you I'd say buy a 2500 with a Cummins and a 6spd in it. The autos behind the Hemis AND the CTDs aint worth a shit and will tear up in the long run. But if your wanting more cab room and a heavier built gasser truck,I'd say look into a Chevy 2500HD truck,nice trucks with four full doors. I've been around Dodges all my life,always liked them up until now,they ain't got to many good things going for them in the newer trucks other then the Cummins but they still aint got a trans that'll hold up to them :flipoff2: I know the Dodge boys will want to flame but oh well :grinpimp:

Jimbo
Jimmy, what was you experience with newer trucks again? :rolleyes:

If you're only towing 1200 lbs, a 1/2 ton Ram will be plenty. I'm surprised that your Grand is strugling with that trailer. I used to own a '99 Ram 1500 with the 360, auto, 3.91 gears, and the tow package. I towed a 6500lb trailer once on a 600 mile round trip. I had to get the trans rebuilt afterwards. To be fair, I guess, the trans was assembled wrong at the factory and a clutch and a steel were reversed making a 4 clutch pack into a 3 clutch pack (75% of full holding power), which was slipping and wore out, clogging the electric governor.

I towed the same load and trip several times since with my '75 W200 and never had an issue. I got rid of the 1500 and I now own a '98 Cummins with an auto. It has done great and the same trip. I would have prefered a 5 speed, but the price of auto worked better for me. However, the fact is if you tow sensibly, and keep the engine stock, the autos behind the Cummins will last quite a long time. GM and Ford have had just as many transmission issues according the transmission rebuilders that I've talked to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
tv_larsen said:
I'm surprised that your Grand is strugling with that trailer. .
The trailer alone weighs 1200lbs. The Jeep weighs about 4,500lbs which puts the total 5,700lbs. The tow rating for the Grand is like 6,500lbs.

The Grand actually tows nice - but we're beginning to get some noises and are trying to investigate if its related to the Quadradrive system. We're assuming (at this point) the towing could be putting too much stress on it. I've heard of people blowing out rear-ends and trannies on the Grands from towing too much.

Besides.....I have a 96 Toyota Tacoma that has 109K miles on it. Just figured we'd get a new truck that can handle the towing better and try to save the Grand from further stress.

Been looking at various light duty (5.7L for example- 8,000lb capacity) rigs like the 1500. Just not sure what brand to get. I won't buy a Ford (never was impressed with their reliability) and the Tundra doesn't have enough balls (towing). I've heard the Nissan Titan has too many problems. The Dodge's seem to stick out since a lot of our friends have 'em.
 

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Buddies of mine have Dodges,one has a '00 3500,hunk of junk,he's on like the 4th set of brakes in 1 yr(and he's not rough on them,I ride with him a lot) The fact that the truck is slowier then shit pulling a trailer up hill,I know most everything is but 2nd and 3rd lugging up a small hill? WTF!? Another one has a '01 1500,he's replaced a lot of junk on the frontend,trans slips some if I remember correctly too. Looked at a 98 1500,new 4.56s,35s,yada yada. I talked and asked a million questions on a ton of sites(didn't ask anything on RCC because we don't own a ton of 94-ups over there) I kept getting the fact that if I bought it I was soon going to have to replace,this and this and that and the list went on and on,because everybody that replyed had had to do the same things with there trucks because parts were wearing out. Not trying to make anybody mad of start a pissing contest,just stating what I know,have experienced etc.

Best of luck on what yall decide Janster

Jimbo
 

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A few of my friends have moved over to the Nissan titan from dodge. So far so good with them. Don't know anyone that has had a problem with the new f150 either. The new dodge seams to be a typical dodge with a great engine and POS tranny. I thought that they had fixed the tranny problem. You can find a chevy/gmc 2500 with the 6 litre and a 5spd with a decent interior for mid to low 20's. My grandfather after driving my uncles f150 and his friends dodge bought the nissan. So far (less than 10,000 miles) he has not had any trouble and he is averaging over 20 mpg.

I have had three dodges, must of all been assembled on a friday or something. One ford, no problems but no power, and one chevy with a lot of power but the interior was falling apart. I hate saying this, but for pulling I would still recomend stepping up to a 3/4 ton, the ford and nissan "say" they are rated to pull just under 10 grand so they might be worth looking into. PS, gramps got his titan se kingcab 4x4 for 23500, lot of truck for the $.
 

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Janster said:
The trailer alone weighs 1200lbs. The Jeep weighs about 4,500lbs which puts the total 5,700lbs. The tow rating for the Grand is like 6,500lbs.
I see, I thought you meant the total trailer weight was 1200 lbs, that makes more sense. Yes, that is an aweful lot of weight for a Grand to tow. If you were towing occasionally, a 1/2 ton would probably do it (no standard cab short beds, they're too short) as they are rated to tow around 8000 lbs, but for regular weekly tow duties, a 3/4 ton would be far more appropriate. A Ram 2500 with a Hemi would probably do the job wonderfully.

If mileage is a concern, the Cummins will do much better than any gasser. Don't rule out the Diesel for fears that it won't handle daily driving duties. I drive mine every day, and I only live 7 miles from work. In the winter we commonly reach -30F temps in the mornings but I've had no problems.

Big Mo said:
Buddies of mine have Dodges,one has a '00 3500,hunk of junk,he's on like the 4th set of brakes in 1 yr(and he's not rough on them,I ride with him a lot) The fact that the truck is slowier then shit pulling a trailer up hill,I know most everything is but 2nd and 3rd lugging up a small hill? WTF!? Another one has a '01 1500,he's replaced a lot of junk on the frontend,trans slips some if I remember correctly too. Looked at a 98 1500,new 4.56s,35s,yada yada. I talked and asked a million questions on a ton of sites(didn't ask anything on RCC because we don't own a ton of 94-ups over there) I kept getting the fact that if I bought it I was soon going to have to replace,this and this and that and the list went on and on,because everybody that replyed had had to do the same things with there trucks because parts were wearing out. Not trying to make anybody mad of start a pissing contest,just stating what I know,have experienced etc.
Sounds like just a bunch of second hand and hearsay experience to me. :rolleyes: I'm not rying to bag on you Jimmy, but I really don't think you are in any position to be posting any advise on this subject.

The internet web forums like these often turn into gossip groups where bad information is often thrown around as gospel, and where the bad experiences of a small handfull are believed to be the norm by the inexperenced.
 

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Well, I'll throw in my $.02...

A good friend and I have been 4 wheeling the '94 and newer trucks since they were almost brand new. He bought a used '94 in '95 and a used '97 in '99. Both of his trucks have had all of the classic symptoms and problems that everyone complains about with these newer dodges. He has had several trannys built between the two trucks besides having problems with the unit bearings and other front end problems.

He had all these problems while he was avidly 4 wheeling it. As soon as the state closed all the close 4 wheeling places around here, his truck hasn't had any problems.

The bottom line is, these trucks can be reliable if used for what they were designed for. They were designed as a passenger vehicle which was meant to mainly stay on the road or on low maintenance roads, etc. The trannys aren't as good as the old non overdrive trannys were, but honestly as has already been said, Ford and GM have as many tranny problems as the Dodges do, but you don't hear those guys whining about it like you hear the dodge guys whine about it. That is what has given them a bad rap. If you leave the truck mainly stock and don't offroad it a bunch, you won't have all the front end problems that everyone complains about. I have driven stock 1500's with 150k miles on them and the front ends are still tight on them because they aren't getting beat around off road.

As for towing with a 1500, most of the 1500's come with 3.55 gears. Do yourself a favor and find one that has the optional 3.90 gears or one that has been regeared. The 3.55 gears are one of the biggest contributors to tranny problems, and even more so when towing. Also, get a nice big tranny cooler. The parts stores sell the new high tech coolers (not sure what the actual name is) that have multiple pass cores rather than just one pass through the cooler. These are more efficient than the old style which will keep the tranny cooler. I would also get a tranny temp gauge as well, and make sure the tranny has been properly serviced. Other than that, it should tow fine but it won't have the speed doing hills that a diesel would.

These trucks are good trucks if you care for them properly and don't abuse them. They can and will turn into a POS if you abuse them and don't care for them properly.
 

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mondtster said:
These trucks are good trucks if you care for them properly and don't abuse them. They can and will turn into a POS if you abuse them and don't care for them properly.

Thats the best way to put it. I have owned my 97 since 98 and have been somewhat happy with it. The 360 has plenty of power with 3.92 gears but the auto has been slipping much more since i started towing with it last year
(90K on orignal tranny) I am now looking into replacing it with a newer 2005 3/4 ton hemi or a 2001 and up cummings (the sad thing is they are about the same price)

I would get rid of the Grand Cherokee over the Tacoma espically since its making noise.

good luck
 

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Big Mo said:
Buddies of mine have Dodges,one has a '00 3500,hunk of junk,he's on like the 4th set of brakes in 1 yr(and he's not rough on them,I ride with him a lot) The fact that the truck is slowier then shit pulling a trailer up hill,I know most everything is but 2nd and 3rd lugging up a small hill? WTF!? Another one has a '01 1500,he's replaced a lot of junk on the frontend,trans slips some if I remember correctly too. Looked at a 98 1500,new 4.56s,35s,yada .........................................yall decide Janster

Jimbo

He must be hard on the truck, I had employees who could take a truck and in two years and 100k miles have it so beat that no amount of TLC could save it Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge. Your comment says it all 4 sets of brakes in 1 year.....WTF i now only cover 60-80k miles a year 1/2 of that towing, i used to clear 100k miles a year. I typically have to do my brakes once a year, and if you notice i live and work in the Bay area now, between the bay area and Sacramento and i constantly am towing over the top of ST.Helena a 12-15% grade (snake trail) road and also over the Sierras into Reno. I can climb Donner pass at 60mph without any problems faster if i wanted to push my luck and pulling in excess of 15k lbs on the trailer. My last couple of trucks all cleared 300k miles and still drove like a decent vehicle, and up until last year those trucks saw a considerable amount of offroad travel.

So those comments hold no truth just hearsay, maintenance is key with every vehicle


2nd and 3rd on hills, sounds like he hasnt figured out how to drive his truck. tell him to stop charging stop signs and tell the other friend to avoid a few pot holes vs hitting everyone bet you they will probably get twice the life out of thier shit, but then again that would make sense.
 

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ddestruel said:
.....maintenance is key with every vehicle....
Agreed.

Even with ZERO maintenance, my 98 Durango's (318 / 44re-A500 ) tranny lasted about 95K before a rebuild.

And not only did it not get any maintenance, it was abused.... Towed a car across country twice, towed a 4K# travel trailer regularly, wheeled regularly.... NO additional cooling over factory. :D:D

The kind of cooler you ought to add is a stacked plate. MUCH more efficient than standard tube-and-fin design.
 

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SolidAxleDurango said:
The kind of cooler you ought to add is a stacked plate. MUCH more efficient than standard tube-and-fin design.

Thats the kind of cooler I was trying to reference in my earlier post... I just couldn't remember the specific name for it to save the life of me!
 

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I have a 94 1500 with a 318 and 3.55 gears, It is a dog and I wish I had the other gears to help tow. I have a 14ft tandom axle trailer and I haul my 66 jeep up to silver lake and school all the time ( 2+ hour drive). I also haul my tractors with it, and scraped this summer. I averaged 2 tons per load of scrap and my tranny just gave up at 220000 miles. I offroad alot and Im not that good on maintance. The front end going out was my fault because I was to lazy to replace the u joints. Im going to agee with alot of the guys that all the other manufacturs have the same problems but only the dodge guys complain more bout the transmissions and everyone helps spread the rumor.If you maintain it, it will last, get the cooler and temp guage so you can watch whats going on inside your trans. I have a friend with a 03 CTD 3500 and he hauls all the time, no complaints yet. But he is always maintaning it, so thats the pay off there.As for the hemi vers the CTD, Im in deisle technology in school so thats where Id put my money, but its my first year and just my opinion.
Ryan
 

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i own a '00 half ton dodge, it has a 5speed, but i have pulled my jeep (approx 4700lbs) behind it on several trips and i havent noticed any additional wear and tear.

just use your head and remember your not in a truck that is actually intended to pull a trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Guys!!

About a week ago.... we took purchase to a bran new 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L quad cab with the 20" wheels (3.92 gears).

Nice truck!! Only has 300 miles on it.... This thing is BIG compared to what I'm used to driving (Toyota Tacoma - it's for sale!!).

We probably won't do any towing with it this fall or winter - will baby it for a while I'm sure. I've gotta crawl underneath and and take a look around.
http://www.lieblweb.com/Temporary/Hemi..JPG

All I can say is.....

SWEET!! :D
 

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Big Mo said:
Buddies of mine have Dodges,one has a '00 3500,hunk of junk,he's on like the 4th set of brakes in 1 yr(and he's not rough on them,I ride with him a lot) The fact that the truck is slowier then shit pulling a trailer up hill,I know most everything is but 2nd and 3rd lugging up a small hill? WTF!? Another one has a '01 1500,he's replaced a lot of junk on the frontend,trans slips some if I remember correctly too. Looked at a 98 1500,new 4.56s,35s,yada yada. I talked and asked a million questions on a ton of sites(didn't ask anything on RCC because we don't own a ton of 94-ups over there) I kept getting the fact that if I bought it I was soon going to have to replace,this and this and that and the list went on and on,because everybody that replyed had had to do the same things with there trucks because parts were wearing out. Not trying to make anybody mad of start a pissing contest,just stating what I know,have experienced etc.

Best of luck on what yall decide Janster

Jimbo

I have a 97 1500 that has been used for towing its whole life.. The only htings I have replaced on it so far are at 100,000 miles I replaced both front U-joints and since it was already apart I replaced the front brake pads.. The rear brakes are still the factory parts.. At 115,000 I had to replace the driver side unit bearing hub I now have 155,000 miles and had to have the solenoids in the tranny and the front O2 sensor replaced 10 days ago(October 21).. Monday Oct 25 I bought me a new Ram 1500 RUMBLE BEEand demoted the 97 to be my oldest sons(16) daily driver.. It still see's duty as the tow rig pulling a 67 Kaiser M715 regularly to the river when we go play which is a couple times per month.. I also use it for variouse other towing duties during the month..
I have been considering getting a bigger truck(2Ton) to take over towing duties since we now have three rigs(67 M715-63 Gladiator-48Willys) that need to be transported when we go play now.. I will still use the Ram 1500 to tow when I only have to tow one rig..
 
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